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Army of West Virginia

        The troops in the Department of West Virginia were taken from the Eighth Army Corps when the department was reorganized, June 28, 1863. The department commanders were Brigadier-General B. F. Kelley, Major-Generals Franz Sigel, David Hunter, George Crook, Brigadier-General J. D. Stevenson, Brevet Major-General S. S. Carroll, and Major-Generals W. S. Hancock and W. H. Emory. In the campaign against Lieutenant-General Early (June-October, 1864), the two divisions (about seventy-five hundred men) under Crook were called the Army of West Virginia. This force was prominent at the Opequon, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, and other engagements. After the campaign, the troops returned to the various districts in the department.
        Major-General David Hunter (U. S. M. A. 1822) was born in Washington, July 21, 1802, and rose to rank of major in the Mexican War. As brigadier-general of volunteers, he commanded the Second Division at Bull Run, where he was severely wounded. Shortly afterward, he was made major-general of volunteers. He succeeded Fremont in the Western Department, and was at the head of the Department of Kansas, November, 1861, to March, 1862, then of the South, and of the Tenth Corps from January to June, 1863, and in May, 1864, he succeeded Major-General Sigel in the command of the Department of West Virginia. Hunter was the first general to enlist colored troops, and presided at the court which tried the Lincoln conspirators. He was retired in 1866, having been brevetted major-general, and died in Washington, February 2, 1886.
        Major-General George Crook (U. S. M. A. 1852) was born near Dayton, Ohio, September 8, 1828. He spent the nine years before the opening of the Civil War in California. As brigadier-general of volunteers in the Army of the Cumberland, he commanded a division of cavalry. He succeeded Major-General David Hunter in the command of the Department of West Virginia in August, 1864, and shortly afterward was made major-general of volunteers. He was active in the Shenandoah campaign under Sheridan ; also at Five Forks and Appomattox. In 1866, as lieutenant-colonel of the regular army, he was sent to the West, where he remained in constant warfare with the Indians for many years. He obtained charge of all the tribes and did much for their advancement. In 1888, he attained the rank of major-general, and died in Chicago, March 21, 1890.
Source: "Photographic History of the Civil War"

This Page last updated 03/21/04


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